We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Thousand Cranes Audiobook

Thousand Cranes

Regular Price:$14.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

With a restraint that barely conceals the ferocity of his characters' passions, one of Japan's great postwar novelists tells the luminous story of Kikuji and the tea party he attends with Mrs. Ota, the rival of his dead father's mistress. A tale of desire, regret, and sensual nostalgia, every gesture has a meaning, and even the most fleeting touch or casual utterance has the power to illuminate entire lives - sometimes in the same moment that it destroys them.

©1986 Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Narrator Brian Nishii uses calm, understated tones to fully illuminate Kikuji’s emotional state as he tries to make sense of his unruly desires, his feelings of loss, and his deep loneliness. Nishii adds depth to Kawabata’s spare, disciplined language, never resorting to theatricality yet providing significant moments of reflection and contemplation as Kikuji works to achieve awareness. In both substance and delivery, Thousand Cranes is as subtle and minimal as a Japanese painting." (AudioFile)

"A novel of exquisite artistry...rich suggestibility...and a story that is human, vivid and moving." (New York Herald Tribune)

“Kawabata is a poet of the gentlest shades, of the evanescent, the imperceptible. This is a tragedy in soft focus, but its passions are fierce." (CommonWealth)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (53 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.1 (45 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.1 (45 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Erez Israel 12-02-10
    Erez Israel 12-02-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    530
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    497
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    60
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Painfully beautiful"

    It's hard to review this book without resorting to the sort of cliche you'd expect in a review of a Japanese novel, i.e., that it's a delicate haiku, a subtle watercolor painting, a poetically melancholy glimpse of life. The thing is, Thousand Cranes really is all of these. Kawabata's writing is almost unbearably delicate; all of the emotions and crises are merely hinted at, as subtly as possibly, and so made perhaps more deeply moving. The story itself also has a painful and elusive quality: it is the story of a young man struggling to find a life and a love distinct from those of his late father's. Every word in the book is highly symbolic and yet undeniably human. In short, I was really impressed with the writing and will definitely look for more by the same author.

    As for the reader: Brian Nishii certainly knows how to pronounce the Japanese names correctly, which is very important -- very often, audiobook narrators will mispronounce foreign words, which can be quite jarring if you happen to know what the language is supposed to sound like. Other than that, Nishii does an OK job. Some of his characterizations sounded a little off to me, and his pauses were a little too short on occasion, but the overall result is perfectly acceptable.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 04-24-16
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 04-24-16 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2446
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    503
    391
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    383
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling Story..."

    of "the sins of the fathers being visited on the sons." Love, lust, suicide. Everything you want in a Japanese classic.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Occasional Reviewer St. Louis, Missouri United States 04-12-16
    Occasional Reviewer St. Louis, Missouri United States 04-12-16 Listener Since 2008

    Occasional Reviewer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling but incomplete biography"
    Any additional comments?

    Jung Chang and Jon Halliday depict Mao as a power-mad monster, a supremely cunning psychopathic gangster boss. One could say it's a hatchet job, but they have a lot of evidence to back up their depiction, including many of Mao's own statements. Without the recognition of Mao's psychopathy, it would be hard to account for quite so many corpses and shattered lives, so much deliberate and prolonged torment. Their story is compelling, linked causally one episode to the next. The one main thing missing from their account is the ideological fervor that must have animated so many cadres, along with sheer terror and intimidation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roman 03-20-16
    Roman 03-20-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Generally fantastic"

    The story itself is beautiful. It is engaging, and requires a certain amount of participation on the reader's part to follow what's in between the lines. I still need to process and ruminate.

    The performance was fine, but not spectacular. Japanese names seemed (to my uneducated ear) correctly/authentically pronounced. However, not much distinction was made between the voices of the female characters, and Brian Nishii's representation of the female voice feels forced.

    There may be a case to be made for reducing the emotion/expression in the character's voices. Here, however, the characters fell a little flat, not charged with the emotional content the words carry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.